The producer of the Oscars, Will Packer, said on Monday morning that the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock was a “very painful moment” for him to watch.
Smith slapping Rock on stage has completely taken over the conversation of last night’s Academy Awards, and Packer responded on Monday after originally making a joke that “Welp…I said it wouldn’t be boring.”
“Black people have a defiant spirit of laughter when it comes to dealing with pain because there has been so much of it. I don’t feel the need to elucidate that for you. But I also don’t mind being transparent and say that this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels,” he said in a follow-up tweet on Monday.
The “King Richard” star stormed onto the stage after Rock suggested that Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, should star in a “G.I. Jane” sequel due to her bald head.
“Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me,” Rock said to the audience, in a slight state of disbelief.
“Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth,” Smith yelled in response, to which Rock tried to defend himself, saying: “Wow, dude, it was a f—ing ‘G.I. Jane’ joke.”
Smith once he won the Oscar for Best Actor apologized to the Academy and to his fellow nominees — though not to Rock — and said he hoped that he would be invited back.
“I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment, and I am not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me,” Smith said following a standing ovation. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like Richard Williams … but love will make you do crazy things.”